We’re so close to December! Can you believe that it’s nearly the end of another year already? This can be such a strange time when it comes to teaching – everything is a bit of a whirlwind because there’s so much going on, it’s the end of a calendar year, but not the end of the school year, and it many cases it feels like you’re surviving until a holiday break. Is it possible to be intentional as we head into December so that everyone enjoys this season, while feeling some closure to 2023 and prepared to start fresh in the new year? Of course it is! Here are my tips for ending the year strong:
Choose the plans and activities that bring you joy. I wrote a whole post about this last year, and it’s been really helpful to revisit in order to refresh that perspective for this year. Essentially, say yes to the things that you (and your students) love, while releasing the pressure to do ALL of the other things.
Pick ONE thing that will help you the most when you come back from break – it can be something like making sure to have a couple of weeks of lesson plans prepped, organizing your supply closet, doing a deep clean of the classroom, or putting away holiday decorations before leaving for break – and work on little bits of this each day to spread all of it out throughout the month. This way it will definitely be done, and it won’t be nearly as overwhelming as trying to tackle it all when you really want to leave for the holidays.
Stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Kids love and need routines (and so do adults)! Keeping yours the same all the way up until the holidays will only help. There are definitely situations where that isn’t possible – all of those special events and parties – but you can make sure children are prepared for these differences ahead of time so that things go smoothly. Here are two posts about using routines to manage the holiday season in the classroom:
Most importantly, give yourself grace! Everything won’t get done, and that’s ok. In most cases, the only person who will know what wasn’t accomplished is you!